Everyone should leave America at least once in their life. As much as I love Canada, it doesn’t really count as leaving the country. I’m talking about a place where not everyone speaks English(American English). Where the culture is definitely different from our normal hum drum. The challenge of surviving another culture without a tour guide is an experience that shifts your perception of reality forever. Going to Greece was my first taste of that but it was Belize that forever changed me.
In a country where there’s no guarantee of a hot shower, the internet is a luxury and wi-fi doesn’t happen, almost every house has bars on the windows, and all the creatures in the rainforest come out and play havoc with your sense of safety, I suddenly felt very small in a much different way than ever before. I felt small living in New York City but it’s different. There’s a common language, you can read the signs, and you can rely on all the ideas and knowledge you gained in life to live there. It’s a comfortable small. In the rainforest, the realization that I knew absolutely NOTHING was like a lightning strike . That’s a type of small that tears down your ego. Knowing that there are small little bugs that you can’t identify that can easily take your life away or even a very large black cat that would love to make you lunch is a huge game changer. I grokked that Mother Nature was the most powerful force out there and she has no compassion, mercy, or sympathy for us. I think we all know that, but until you get that feeling of small, you can’t really grok it.
We are very fortunate to live in America. We are the spoiled children of this world. So when I think my life is difficult, I remember Belize and the rainforest. We have opportunities that few have. We have the luxury of chasing after our dreams. We have the ability to become whatever we want.
Don’t let being small stop you. Make plans. Go out in the world and discover. Let being small inspire you to help others and make an impact on this world, even if it’s just one person at a time. We’re all small but we don’t have to BE small. We can be as big as a Ceiba tree.